MOUNT VERNON — In 2007, Ohio adopted the Adam Walsh Act that changed the way those convicted of sexual crimes were classified. When that happened, it created what could be a gray area as to how those convicted prior to that time were classified and where they were allowed to live.
That very scenario came into play recently when a Knox County man returned to the area after spending more than 11 years in an Ohio prison after being convicted of raping a minor female. The problem was that Duane Young, 51, moved in next door to a city elementary school. After registering with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and his parole officer, it did not take neighbors long to realize the sexual predator had moved in when they checked the sheriff’s website for sexual predators.
According to Capt. David Shaffer, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement has no control over where Young lives because his conviction took place before the Adam Walsh Act came into play in the state of Ohio.
Labeled a sexual predator by the judicial system, Young had to register his address with the sheriff’s office within five days of moving back to Knox County. He is required to register every 90 days for the rest of his life.
Information provided by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office explains that those who committed sexually-oriented crimes prior to July 31, 2003, are not restricted as to where they live.
Those who committed offenses between July 31, 2003, and July 1, 2007, are prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of day cares and preschools. Those who committed crimes after July 1, 2007, are prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of day cares, preschools and schools.
Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher confirmed with the News on Thursday afternoon that Young was no longer living in the Dan Emmett School area.
“The decision was made as part of his supervision,” said Thatcher. “He voluntarily agreed to move.”
Although Young was convicted of rape, which occurred prior to 2003, his sentencing and parole would not involve where he lives as far as proximity to any kind of school or day care.
“It is complicated to enforce,” Thatcher said. “It is hard to sort out.”
Thatcher said he believes there should be a uniform policy throughout the state so that there can be uniform requirements for all sexual predators.
Without Young’s agreement to voluntarily move, Thatcher said action could have been filed in court asking the judge to demand that Young relocate. That process, he said, could take as long 90 days and school could be back in session before any resolution was made.